Anarchist Meets General; Preakness Preparation; Thriving Kids; Smart Thinking
May 27, 2016
Best Summer Read; Scooter Store Innocent; Don’t Be Authentic; June 13 Deadline Harvard Exit Strategies
June 9, 2016

Pricing Strategies; Hyper-Specialization; Summer Poverty Camps; Harvard Exit Strategies

"…insights for scaleups"


7 Minutes to Mastery (Scaling Up Club) — Better understand social trends with this week's selected video clip from Michael Drew's Pendulum, but first…

June 13 Deadline — apply to attend, free of charge, Harvard's Exit Strategies Summit August 23 – 24. More info below, but second…

When Low Prices Work…and when they don't! In this latest HBR article by pricing guru Hermann Simon, he outlines how a company can make huge profits being the low price competitor (think IKEA with 5.5x industry average profitability) so long as they follow these key strategies (all or nothing):

  • They have a low-price position from day one.
  • They have a high-growth, high-revenue focus.
  • They are extremely efficient.
  • They guarantee adequate and consistent quality.
  • They focus on core products.
  • Their ads focus on price.
  • They never mix their messages.

Take 3 minutes to get the details for each strategy. Then more importantly, read Simon's book Confessions of a Pricing Man – the best book on pricing ever written (what do you know about pricing?). Simon will also keynote our fall Growth Summit in Dallas Oct 25 – 26.

Hyper-Specialization (Gazelles Case Study) — Denes Purnhauser, based on our "Hyper-Specialization" advise, has created a "Cloud Office Suite for Small Record Label Companies." Read more about how he's taken a general set of commoditized IT services and bundled them to create a 100% solution for a narrow niche – and then productized it. When you do this, marketing costs fall and margins skyrocket.

Bringing Out the Best in People — the Third Edition of this business classic was released yesterday. I consider it one of the top five business books of all time. Written by the top human behaviorist in the world (for business), Aubrey Daniels has debunked most of the popular management techniques like Employee of the Month programs, quarterly reviews, etc. And his approaches are as applicable to the family (years ago his team helped Julie and me get our 2-year-old to stop screaming at meals) as they are the work setting. GPro and book club members will receive his book next week.

Two Critical Programs — besides our Scaling Up workshops, I recommend all leaders attend two 2-day workshops as part of their executive development – Jack Stack's "Great Game of Business" workshop; and Aubrey Daniel's "Bringing Out the Best in People" workshop. Learn how to gamify your business and then get the most from your people in a positive way.

Summer Poverty Simulation Camp? — Looking for a different kind of learning event? For those that want to experience what it's like to live in a refugee camp or live homeless on the streets, there are several options to gain empathy into the plight of the less fortunate. Without its critics, this Fortune article highlights the controversies surrounding these ventures while providing a list of camps. I participated in something similar when I was in college and it was one of the most impactful experiences of my life. For me, I finally understood the roots of terrorism (I became one very quickly in the simulation – no surprise to my closest colleagues and friends!). Anyway, I highly recommend you try it.

Harvard Summit on Exit Strategies — are you planning to sell your company in the next 36 months for $25 million to $500 million or more? Maximize your exit by applying to attend (no charge) this 2-day symposium hosted at Harvard Aug 23 – 24. I'll be one of the speakers discussing the strategies PE firms and larger companies use to "rob" owners of their firms. It's a first class faculty aimed at helping you make the most of this big (and final) decision – and how to handle the challenges you face after exiting. Application deadline June 13.

June Scaling Up Workshops — Montreal June 7; Portland June 9; Los Angeles June 14. For more info.

7 Minute to Mastery — Scaling Up Club — Understand the newest social trends in business such as collective mentality and how we can better adapt our businesses in a society leaning towards a "we" focus. This 7-minute clip looks at on how in a "we" society, businesses need to have real conversations and better understand their clients. To access the clip or signup: go here!


Have you ever wondered if your company would be a good candidate to work with an executive growth coach? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients.

And if you're interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please contact Jean Carpenter at [email protected] / (360) 798.9471.


Align Software puts everyone on the Same Page – Literally! See, in real time every person in your organization and how they are progressing on their priorities – alongside how they Align to the Company Priorities! Scale Up your Rockefeller Habits implementation with – on your computer and on your phone.

Better Book Club What's your team reading? Increase your books read per team member. Easy, Proven, and in the Cloud at

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.